Jackalo || Strong Enough for Kids, Gentle on the Planet

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Ah, children’s clothes. Although the vast majority of my kids’ clothing is secondhand or hand-me-downs, on the rare occasion that we buy a new piece for our girls, it usually lasts about as long as it takes for them to outgrow it or for them to rip a hole in it. Children’s apparel isn’t designed to last, because at the rate kids grow, why would it be? When you’re continually having to size up, wash away the ketchup stains, patch ripped knees, and wish for better options, it’s no wonder that shopping sustainably for your kids (at least for me) is one of the first things to go.

Aside from there being shockingly few options for ethically made kids clothes, when I have come across brands in the past I have a hard time justifying the price tag for the amount of wears my kids will get out of the item. If a piece lasts only one season before E & M outgrow or destroy it, what’s the point?

Luckily, "hard to find” doesn’t mean impossible and today’s brand goes above and beyond in terms of sustainability AND practicality for kids.

Marianna, the owner, designer, one-woman-show behind Jackalo, knows a thing or two about the struggle most parents face while looking for clothes that will last for children. A mother of two herself, she grew frustrated with the lack of sustainable options that wouldn’t cost her an arm and a leg, especially since her sons would play their way through each pair in no time.

She decided to take matters into her own hands and design a kid’s pant that could withstand normal rough and tumble and check all of the boxes in the sustainability field. Thus, Jackalo was born.

Their pants, the brand’s first product along with a coverall, are made from organic, fair trade cotton. The knees are doubled with a reinforced layer, to make them extra durable and rip free. To sweeten the deal, each pair comes in gender neutral colors and is able to be rolled up to save a bit of length until your child grows into them.

In this post, Evie is wearing the Ash Lined Engineer Stripe pant (paired with leopard print, of course) and Mara is wearing the Jax Berry pant, both in size 4 (they’re 3 and 5 but roughly the same size, so I went in the middle).

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Circular Consumerism

One of my favorite things about Jackalo is their Trade Up program. Marianna knows how quickly kids grow and even though her pants are meant to accommodate a wider range than most, her Trade Up program takes over when time has done it’s work and the pants no longer fit. They will take back any Jackalo pant, to repair and resell at a discount, and give you a 20% discount towards your next pair. It keeps their pants out of landfill and ensures that each pair is truly getting the maximum wear.

Jackalo is refreshingly transparent about where and how their organic cotton is grown, and even share links for customers to learn more about the milling, weaving, and assembly process.

In my chats with Marianna (I also work with her on a freelance basis, so I’ve gotten a more in-depth look into her brand than most), she’s mentioned how much of a labor of love growing Jackalo has been. Sourcing organic and fair trade materials isn’t the convenient route by any means, and neither is accepting old product back for resale, but she’s so committed to bettering the world (and our children’s quality of play) through her pieces that each extra step is worth it.

Keep an eye out for new pieces from Jackalo soon — they’re truly doing their part to create conscious and practical clothes for kids who play hard.


*This piece was sponsored by Jackalo — thank you for supporting the brands that make SL&Co. possible.*

Zanni || Dresses for Whatever

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When it comes to versatility and timelessness, I can't think of any pieces that fit the bill better than the "LBD". A classic in it's own right, black dresses transcend seasons, events, life-phases, and can even accommodate changing bodies (hello pregnancy, or you know, period week). They can range from sultry and strappy to loose, modest and flowy, but if you've peeked inside my closet anytime in the past three years, you'll know that the t-shirt dress silhouette is my favorite for the LBD. 

Although until now, I've only owned one LBD. My trusty Sotela shift dress that I bought long before I ever partnered with the brand. The material of that dress, tencel, while great for dressing up and everyday wear, isn't stretchy or sweat resistant. These two qualities aren't typically on my radar when I choose a new piece for my closet, however, now that I've tried Zanni's "dresses for whatever", I'm hooked on a new kind of versatility that I don't usually consider. 

Zanni designs their dresses for quite literally anything. Made from a stretchy, workout apparel-like fabric, these dresses are meant to take you from a bike commute, to a meeting, to a post-work coffee date. Frustrated with the lack of "low maintenance" pieces in her closet, Zanni founder, Suzanne Brosnan, wanted to find a way to celebrate her love for comfort without sacrificing style or timelessness. So, she combined the two in the most dreamy way - stretchy, athletic-esque material with classic LBD designs that can take you just about anywhere. 

The Fabric

Sourced from an ethical and vetted fabric mill in Italy, Zanni's dresses are made with a blend of cotton, Polyamide, and elastane, giving them incredible stretch and softness. The fabric is UV ray resistant and waterproof to boot. 

I put it to the ultimate test by wearing my Zanni Wear on Repeat dress on a plane ride and, subsequently, several days in the humidity and heat of Omaha, Nebraska. No matter how hot I was, the dress never felt wet and actually did a better job of keeping me cool than anything else I packed for the trip. 

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Suzanne has designed a wide range of dresses, including a maxi dress, a classic A-line, a tank dress, and more. The material is flattering, clinging where you want it to and falling away from where you don't. I've worn mine alone with sneakers, dressed up with flats and a statement necklace, or casually with my Tradlands denim jacket and Sseko slides.   

As someone who generally steers clear of "athleisure" fabrics for my day to day life (you'll rarely see me in leggings unless I'm doing yoga, going to bed, or having a really off day), I'm genuinely in love with the ease and low-maintenance feel of this dress. Although I love getting dressed, I appreciate any brand that helps me achieve a no-fuss, simple yet classy look and Zanni does it all with ease. These truly are dresses for whatever. 

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*This post was sponsored by Zanni LA. All photography, opinions, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog alive.**

Ethical Holiday || Gift Guide For Kids

Ethical Holiday  || Gift Guide For Kids

The last of my gift guides for the year has been the most fun to put together. It's possible that kids are even harder to shop for than men, especially if you're trying to do so ethically. Although I try to always keep our Christmas gifts (very) simple and affordable for my two girls, I went a bit over the top with this guide. I include gifts for a wide age range and an even wider range of budgets ;) 

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